FRESNO, Calif. (CBS/AP) — California water officials have approved a flood plan for the Central Valley that recommends major investments in the state’s aging system of levees.

The Central Valley Flood Protection Board adopted the plan on Friday. It calls for $14 billion to $17 billion in repairs and new infrastructure — including $5 billion in bond funds already approved by voters.

Officials say the state’s flood control system of 14,000 levees built along the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers is in disrepair. About 1 million Californians now live in these floodplains. The levees protect an estimated $69 billion in assets, including the state’s water supply, major freeways and agricultural land.

“In reviewing and amending this plan, we listened carefully to Valley residents and flood experts, farmers, property owners and local governments, levee districts, scientists and environmentalists,” said Board President Bill Edgar. “With their insights, we’ve adopted a realistic plan that will enhance public safety and provide more ecosystem and habitat protection,” he noted.

The plan approved on Friday doesn’t call for specific projects, but offers recommendations. Those include improvements to intake, weir and gate structures, levee repairs and ecosystem restoration.

For more information, visit the Board’s website at:

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


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